I'll be home for Christmas: Quarantine Piano Edition

Posted on Dec 29, 2021

This year, despite generally taking precautions and having two shots of Moderna, Christmas found me in quarantine in my home office, hiding away from my family. As far as Christmas traditions go, “physical isolation” has to be one of the more unusual ways to celebrate a holiday whose traditions frequently involve getting together in larger groups.

It was Christmas day and I was alone, but it didn't really feel that way: my wife, daughter, and I spent Christmas lunch (and supper) talking via FaceTime. Throughout the day I found myself talking or texting with parents, my sister, cousins, in-laws, and friends that I've made over time. When it was time to open presents, my family went onto the front lawn so that I could watch them open them (albeit from 20 feet away.) The specific traditions I was used to didn't happen, but the traditions of making much of one another did.

Still, no matter how nice it was, at the end of the day, it was still quarantine and I was in a different part of the house than my family. At some point early in the day, my wandering mind and restless fingers brought me over to my keyboard (no home office is complete without one!) Amongst various Christmas favorites, I found myself playing a peppy rendition of the rather wistful “I'll be home for Christmas”. I took pause. It really said everything that I was feeling: this Christmas would still be quite good, but it would also be quite different. It would actual be something to enjoy, but it would be just short of “complete”.

I thought about these feelings and this song itself for a few minutes and then decided to capture them. Though my first instinct was to record a session in Reaper and try to hit Instragram levels of flawless, I opted instead to simply record it a handful of times, take the first cut that felt right, and to just push it straight to YouTube; it seemed almost hypocritical to demand perfection from a song that itself was reflecting the feeling that “it will be good, but it won't be perfect”. I think I'm all the better for having just gone ahead and left the inperfections in tact.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope that you enjoy this rough bit of piano.